O Diagnosis

Classic amphetamines s-

"j2 Four classic ampetamine-related diagnostic cate

* gories are listed in the DSM-IV-TR. These are: tu

• amphetamine dependence eta • amphetamine abuse j=

• amphetamine intoxication

• amphetamine withdrawal

Amphetamine dependence refers to chronic or episodic use of amphetamine involving drug binges known as "speed runs." These episodes are punctuated by brief, drug-free periods. Aggressive or violent behavior is associated with amphetamine dependence, particularly when high doses are ingested. Intense but temporary anxiety may occur, as well as paranoid ideas and psychotic behavior resembling schizophrenia. Increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms are part of the diagnostic picture. Conversely, some individuals with amphetamine dependence become sensitized to the drug, experiencing increasingly greater stimulant, and other negative mental or neurological effects, even from small doses.

Amphetamine abuse, while not as serious as amphetamine dependence, can also cause multiple problems. Legal difficulties are common, in addition to increased arguments with family and friends. If tolerance or withdrawal occur, amphetamine dependence is diagnosed.

Amphetamine intoxication refers to serious behavioral or psychological changes that develop during, or shortly after, use of amphetamine. Intoxication begins with a "high" feeling, followed by euphoria, enhanced energy, talkativeness, hyperactivity, restlessness, hyper-vigilance indicated by an individual's extreme sensitivity, and closely observant of everything in the environment). Other symptoms are anxiety, tension, repetitive behavior, anger, fighting, and impaired judgment. With chronic intoxication, there may be fatigue or sadness and withdrawal from others. Other signs and symptoms of intoxication are increased heartrate, dilation of the pupils, elevated or lowered blood pressure, perspiration or chills, nausea or vomiting, weight loss, cardiac irregularities and, eventually, confusion, seizures, coma, or death.

During amphetamine withdrawal, intense symptoms of depression are typical. Additional diagnostic symptoms are fatigue, vivid and unpleasant dreams, insomnia or sleeping too much, increased appetite, and agitation.

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